Injuries from a Motor Vehicle AccidentThe back-to-school season comes with increased traffic on the roads, as less people are traveling and families are beginning to settle into a routine that gets them out of the house, out of the pool, off the beach, and back to school and work. This increase in motor vehicles inherently leads to an increase in accidents, and the variable of more cars on the road is not the only contributing factor. Drivers may be rushing more to get to school and work on time. They may have gotten stuck behind a school bus and speed to try to make up for lost time. Parents driving kids to school might be running late or distracted by the numerous tasks on their list. These factors all create risks for motor vehicle accidents ranging from minor to fatal. The most common motor vehicle accident-related injuries are neck injuries, whiplash, spinal injuries, concussions, broken collar bones, and brain injuries. California is an at fault state, which means that the driver who negligently caused the accident (or their insurance company) will be responsible for paying for the damages suffered by others involved in the crash. If you are the parent of a teen driver and your teen causes an accident, you will be responsible for the damages. Of course, in that situation, your main concern would be about the safety of your child. While accidents are not always avoidable, there are prudent steps you can take to minimize your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident during the back-to-school season. Allow for extra time in the morning to travel to your destination. Do not exceed the speed limit and do not use your phone while driving. If you do not feel that you can trust your teen to drive to school safety, then do not allow them to. By taking these few simple steps, you can reduce your risk of a motor vehicle crash.
School Bus Accidents InjuriesAny school bus accident is one school bus accident too many. As we put our children on that yellow bus, we entrust their safety to the bus driver and from that point until they return home, their safety is out of our hands. Yet, no matter how wonderful your child’s school bus driver is, they are not the only driver on the roads. As a society, we implement multiple safeguards to prevent school bus accidents or injuries to students loading and unloading from buses, but accidents still happen. Drivers who speed around corners or text while driving may fail to see the flashing lights of a school bus, signaling them to stop while students get on and off the bus. If a child is struck by a vehicle while they are loading or unloading from the school bus, the resulting injuries can be critical if not fatal. Injuries may also occur to students while onboard the bus. If children are not seated properly with their seat belts secured, they could easily fall inside the bus and hit their head or break a bone. This can happen even if a crash does not take place, but the bus stops short or takes a tight turn. If your child takes a bus to school, speak to them about school bus safety practices and don’t just have this conversation once, but multiple times. Make sure instantaneously fastening your seat belt in your family’s vehicle is your child’s habit, so that they carry this happen with them in the school bus when you aren’t there. Finally, make sure your child understands that when they are getting on and off of a bus, not to depend solely on the stop-arm and flashing lights of the bus, but to look both ways themselves before crossing.
Pedestrian AccidentsPedestrian accidents, particularly those involving children walking to or from school, are a great concern when back-to-school season comes around. Not all sidewalks and crosswalks are equal in their degree of safety, and in a society that experiences more distracted driving than ever before, walking to school is more dangerous than it ever has been. As we approach the back-to-school season, it is important to be mindful of your children’s safety as pedestrians, as well as your own care in driving to ensure the safety of pedestrians around you. Injuries from pedestrian accidents are typically much more severe than those suffered by an individual driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Without the benefits of air bags and sheet metal as protection around you, pedestrians are incredibly vulnerable to critical and life-threatening injuries if they are struck by a motorist. These injuries can include multiple broken bones, spinal injuries, organ damage, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, and more.
Playground InjuriesWhile driving in a motor vehicle is typically the activity that creates the most risk to our physical safety in our daily lives, it is not the only cause of injuries sustained during the back-to-school season. Broken bones and contusions from playground injuries are another common cause of injury for children. While normally, these injuries are not very severe and there’s usually no one to blame, that is not always the case. If your child’s school failed to supervise your child and other children, and this lack of supervision amounted to an unreasonable dereliction of their duty, then your child’s injuries may be compensable due to negligent supervision. While minor injuries may not be worth the hassle of such a claim, more serious injuries and broken bones may warrant both accountability from the school and compensation for your child’s injuries, if appropriate. This back-to-school season, we urge you to remain vigilant and exercise caution in your comings and goings. If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of another party, our team of seasoned and talented personal injury lawyers are here to help to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation of your case.
Aaron Hicks is a civil trial attorney and founder of Hicks Law Firm, based in Orange County, also with offices in San Diego and Tennessee. His current practice includes representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases.